I have waited long enough. It is time to dive into the world of blogging. Truth be told, writing is a hard and challenging task for me (I am sure readers will periodically be able to find one, two, three or more grammatical miscues). Still, there are times in which an observation is just to good to go without sharing. So...I am entering the wonderful world of blogging and want to share the first, of hopefully many meaningful, observations.
I attempt to spend time each morning with the Bible and/or a good devotional book. I say "attempt" because I am not always able to make this happen. When this time is secured it starts my day off well and often leads to a powerful insight from the Lord. Today was one of those insightful days.
I was reading through Ezra.
"Ezra?" "What is a student minister doing reading Ezra?"
I am glad you asked.
Contrary to some, student ministers do and should read the Bible (I had to go there). I periodically try to read through a book of the Bible that features a leader. I read with a lens that helps me identify the strengths and weakness of that leader in order to find applicable leadership principles for my own life. It really is a cool way to read and apply the Bible for ministers. While reading, I came across a verse that caught my attention.
Before I share the verse, let me give you a little background on one of my current student ministry passions--Intergenerational Student Ministry. In short, this approach to student ministry attempts to bridge the generational gap present in much of today's church programming by creating opportunities for meaningful relationships (loaded word) to be developed across generational lines. Why the passion? Because such programming is one of the key factors in assimilating and keeping students in the Body of Christ. I will often write of this passion. Now the verse that caught my attention (I will highlight the cool part):
And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy. No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping, because the people made so much noise. And the sound was heard far away.-Ezra 3:11ff
Here is the context. The people of Israel have just finished rebuilding the foundation of the once destroyed foundation of the Temple in Jerusalem and it was awesome. They all gave thanks to the LORD, but while the young worshiped joyfully, the older individuals wept. I loved the way that both young and old are mentioned and their particular view of this powerful event highlighted.
Did you see it? It is within the highlighted verse?
"No one could distinguish...." I like that a lot. The picture given is of one diverse community of believers expressing each heart's own unique response before their LORD. Yet, all that onlookers could hear, was one indistinguishable sound.
That is a great picture of an intergenerational faith community.